Blazers Set to Open 2010 Avista NAIA Baseball World Series

May 27, 2010: The Belhaven baseball team is getting set for their first ever appearance in the 2010 Avista NAIA Baseball World Series on Friday afternoon against Point Loma Nazarene University starting at 2:00 PM (CDT). The 10 team double elimination world series is hosted by Lewis-Clark State College at Harris Field.

Belhaven who was ranked 14th in the final NAIA Top 25 Poll and is 43-15 on the season made the 10 team field after defeating Texas Wesleyan University 4-3 in the 2010 NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round Group 9 tournament in Jackson, MS last week. The Blazers were unbeaten in the opening round with victories over Brewton-Parker College (GA), Missouri Baptist University, and Texas Wesleyan which propelled them into the tournament.

Belhaven is led at the plate by Craig Dean and Timmy Foster who both have .400 plus batting averages so far this season. Dean, a senior third baseman from Cold Water, MS, has a team best batting average of .421 with 16 doubles, four triples, eight home runs, and 51 RBI’s. Foster, a senior first baseman who hails from Natchez, MS, has a .407 batting average with a team and NAIA leading 30 doubles. Foster also paces the Blazers with 10 home runs and 74 runs batted in. Foster had what proved to be the game winning home run in the bottom of the sixth inning against Texas Wesleyan.

As a team offensively, Belhaven leads the NAIA in total triples with 39 and have a team batting average of .334. The Blazers have outscored opponents 486 to 292 and have amassed 638 total hits which is 10th best in the nation.

On the mound, the starting rotation is anchored by Brandt Hinton who is 12-0 this season. Hinton, a senior from Brookhaven, MS, owns an ERA of 3.30 in 106.1 innings of work. He has 55 strikeouts and has tossed three complete games this season. His 12 wins ranks him third in the NAIA in that category along with being third in the country in total innings pitched. Starting pitchers Chris Bennett and Riley Galloway have also been coming on strong down the stretch and pitched very well in the opening round tournament. Bennett, a senior from Tupelo, MS, is 6-4 with a 4.24 ERA and a team high 73 strikeouts. Galloway, a senior from Madison, MS, has an ERA of 4.42 and got the win against Texas Wesleyan University in the opening round tournament.

The back end of the Belhaven bullpen is anchored by Wade Broyles who has 13 saves on the season with two of them coming in the national tournament opening round. Broyles, a senior from Madison, MS, is also 3-0 with an ERA of 1.66. Broyles has racked up 70 strikeouts in just 38 innings pitched while holding opposing hitters to a .140 batting average.

Belhaven’s opponent in the opening round is Point Loma Nazarene University out of San Diego, California. The Sea Lions, 38-18 on the season, are making their fifth overall appearance in the World Series and returned to Lewiston after having won the group six opening round tournament. Point Loma is from the Golden State Athletic Conference.

The Sea Lions are led by Allen Boyer who has a team high 18 home runs while hitting at a .351 clip. Boyer has driven home 48 runs and scored 63. Point Loma’s leading RBI man is Tyler Kuehl who has 59 along with blasting 11 home runs while leading the team in doubles with 24. He has posted a batting average of .348 so far in 2010. Rashad Taylor is another hitter that Belhaven pitchers will have to be wary of. Taylor has 15 home runs and 53 RBI’s while hitting .318 on the year. The Sea Lions have a team batting average of .319.

On the mound, Point Loma has a pair of pitchers with double digit wins. Brandon Dixon is 10-0 with a 3.43 ERA and has 63 strikeouts in 105 innings of work. Chad Blauer is 11-2 with an ERA of 3.90 and has struck out 81 in 85.1 innings. The Sea Lions have a team earned run average of 4.24.

Fans can follow the Blazers at the 2010 Avista NAIA World Series with the latest up to date information included live stats, live audio, box scores, game recaps, and link to the official NAIA World Series web page by clicking here. The official NAIA World Series preview press release can be viewed by clicking here.


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